What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells in the breast. It starts from the breast and then can spread to the body eventually killing the patient if left untreated. Breast cancer’s stage refers to how far the cancer cells have spread beyond the original tumor.
How is it diagnosed ?
The surgeon examines the patient physically and gets tests like mammography (X-ray of the breast), ultrasound scan, MRI, etc. A biopsy is a must and a core needle biopsy is required before the treatment can be started. It is better than removing the whole lump just for the diagnosis. Other tests are needed to check the rest of the body for cancer and to check the general health of the patient. These may include blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound scans, CT scan, MRI, Bone scan, PET-CT scan, Echocardiogram, etc.
How is it treated?
- Endocrine therapy
- Targeted therapy
Treatment is done with a combination of the above for best results. In almost half of the patients, especially early breast cancer, the breast may not be removed completely and only the cancer area is taken out.